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Beneficial Mutual Bancorp, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2013 Earnings

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Beneficial Mutual Bancorp, Inc. ("Beneficial") (Nasdaq:BNCL), the parent company of Beneficial Bank (the "Bank"), today announced its financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013. Beneficial recorded net income of $3.5 million and $9.6 million, or $0.05 and $0.13 per diluted share, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 compared to $4.1 million and $10.4 million, or $0.05 and $0.13 per diluted share, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 included merger and restructuring charges of $2.7 million related to the acquisition of SE Financial Corporation.

Highlights for the quarter ended September 30, 2013:
  • We experienced continued improvement in our asset quality metrics during the quarter with non-performing loans, excluding government guaranteed student loans, decreasing $18.1 million, or 26.5%, to $50.3 million at September 30, 2013 from $68.4 million at December 31, 2012 and decreasing $27.1 million, or 35.1%, from $77.4 million at September 30, 2012.  
  • Net charge-offs decreased 51.3% and 39.7%, respectively, during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 to $3.3 million and $12.3 million, respectively, compared to $6.8 million and $20.4 million, respectively, for the same periods in 2012.   
  • As a result of the improvement in our asset quality metrics, we were able to reduce our provision for loan losses during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 to $1.5 million and $11.5 million, respectively, compared to $7.0 million and $22.0 million, respectively, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012.  
  • Our non-performing assets ratio, excluding government guaranteed student loans, improved to 1.23% at September 30, 2013, compared to 1.60% at December 31, 2012, and 2.09% at September 30, 2012.  
  • We launched a new marketing campaign and brand refresh designed to highlight the bank's commitment to financial education. Along with the introduction of a new "Your Knowledge Bank" tagline, the campaign itself is part of an ambitious communications initiative rooted in what has always been the core mission of Beneficial Bank – to provide customers with the tools, knowledge and guidance to help them do what's right and make wise financial decisions.  
  • During the quarter, we successfully introduced the New BenMobile application, which brings the features of Online Banking to our Mobile Banking customers, making it easier to access account information and perform transactions including balance transfers and remote deposit capture. This new channel is being adopted rapidly by our customer base.  
  • We reduced our cost of funds on deposits by 11 basis points to 0.51% for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, from 0.62% for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.  
  • Our balance sheet remained strong at September 30, 2013, with our allowance for loan losses totaling $56.9 million, or 2.43% of total loans, compared to $57.6 million, or 2.36% of total loans, at December 31, 2012, and $55.8 million, or 2.24% of total loans, at September 30, 2012. Reserves as a percentage of non-performing loans, excluding government guaranteed student loans, totaled 113.1% at September 30, 2013 compared to 84.3% at December 31, 2012 and 71.4% at September 30, 2012.  
  • During the third quarter, we repurchased 695,300 shares of the Company's outstanding common stock under the 2,500,000 share repurchase program that was approved by the Board of Directors in September 2011. As of September 30, 2013, Beneficial had repurchased 2,271,000 shares under this program and expects to repurchase the remaining shares under this program in the fourth quarter of 2013 subject to market conditions.   
  • This month, Beneficial's Board of Directors approved a new stock repurchase program that will enable Beneficial to acquire up to 4,000,000 shares, or 12.0%, of the Company's publicly held common stock outstanding. The shares may be purchased in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions from time to time depending upon market conditions.  
  • Capital levels remain strong with tangible capital to tangible assets totaling 10.7% at September 30, 2013 compared to 10.3% at December 31, 2012.

Both the low interest rate environment which has reduced the yields on our investment and loan portfolios and lower loan balances, as a result of high commercial loan repayments and continued weak loan demand, has caused net interest income to decrease $4.8 million and $12.6 million to $30.8 million and $93.6 million, respectively, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 compared to $35.6 million and $106.2 million, respectively, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012.  Net interest margin decreased to 2.81% and 2.82%, respectively, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 from 3.16% and 3.21%, respectively, for the same periods in 2012. The net interest margin was benefited by 5 and 7 basis points for loan prepayments and adjustments for the three months ended September 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Until we begin to see growth in our loan portfolio, we expect that the continued low interest rate environment will put pressure on net interest margin in future periods. 

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